It really works! Finally, the train drivers’ union GDL and German rail operator Deutsche Bahn have realized they can’t resolve their muddled wage dispute on their own. Two arbitrators will first of all try to calm tempers. It remains to be seen whether the mediators will be able to induce the opponents to retreat from their unyielding positions.
The realization comes late. Deutsche Bahn alone has lost at least €300 million in the nine strikes up to now. There are proposals to bring such wage disputes to the arbitration table sooner in the future. Especially in areas where a strike hurts not only employers but also uninvolved third parties: commuters who wait fruitlessly for a train, passengers whose flights are canceled, parents who don’t know what to do with their children when kindergartens are closed.